A history of VMUG and iMug 1985–2020: The 1990s—rapid rise and rapid decline

By Noel Jackling OAM

The early to mid-1990s saw a rapid expansion in membership and services to members. By 1992, the membership had escalated to 580. At the Annual General Meeting for 1992-1993 held in August 1993, retiring Treasurer Ian Clark reported a growth in individual membership from 580 to over 800.

At the Annual General Meeting for 1993-1994, held in September 1994, VMUG President Brian Livingston reported a growth in individual membership from 800 to about 1100. He also reported that meeting attendance was up to 140+ and was typically over 80. AUSOM, a much larger society than VMUG, experienced a similar dramatic growth.

VMUG logo

VMUG logo designed by Derek Rawson in 1994

The decline was similarly dramatic, because by 1999, membership fell to the point where publication of the monthly newsletter, VMUG News, could no longer be sustained. By 2003, membership had fallen to 116 and there had been no success in locating a suitable Treasurer. At that point, serious consideration was given to VMUG becoming a Special Interest Group within the Melbourne PC User Group, which would relieve the group of the need to provide a treasurer.

This proposal provoked heated opposition. When a vote was taken at the AGM in 2003, a majority favoured the move, but the necessary two-thirds majority in favour was not reached.

The Committee, most of whom had favoured the move, then set about reinvigorating the society, with a view to turning it into a more vibrant and progressive group. As a result, membership soon rose to 176. Despite considerable efforts over the years, the membership numbers have fluctuated little and currently (2020) stand at about 130.

Stanton Ryan, a member of the Melbourne FileMaker Developers Group, persuaded Ron Rankin to offer his services as Treasurer, services which he has faithfully provided until now (2020) and is continuing to provide. The Society has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had such professional financial support and stability over this extended period of time.

Next: VMUG News

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Table of Contents

  1. The early years
  2. The 1990s—rapid rise and rapid decline
  3. VMUG News
  4. VMUG premises in Ross House
  5. Help Desk, Computer Training and Public Domain Software
  6. Meetings
  7. The rise and impact of the Internet
  8. iMug Apple Collection at Museum Victoria
  9. An odd occasion
  10. iMug Widget—a small feature to advertise meetings
  11. A few prominent VMUG/iMug members
  12. In conclusion
  13. Appendix 1 - Four special December meetings
  14. Appendix 2 - Apple Effect timeline banner 1976–1990
  15. Appendix 3 - Apple Effect timeline banner 1990–2006
  16. Appendix 4 - Libretto to 'An Apple a Day'
  17. Appendix 5 - Libretto to 'The Very Model of a Modern Apple MacBook Pro'
  18. Appendix 6 - Office Bearers
  19. Appendix 7 - Life Members

Download the entire History of VMUG and iMug 1985–2020 as a PDF.